Jordan - Media Landscape
|Suffrage||Universal; 18 yrs of age|
|Currency||Jordanian dinar (JOD)|
|Area||92. 300 sq km|
|Total imports (%EU)||€10.7 bn (2006) (23%)|
|Total exports (%EU)||€4.2 bn (2006) (3%)|
|GDP||€12 bn (2006)|
|GDP per capita||€1.900 (2006)|
|Unemployment||13,5% (2007 official est.)|
|Internet users (per 1000 people)||126 (2005)|
The media in Jordan has changed rapidly in recent years and will continue to develop as national discussions and debates ebb and flow.
The death of King Hussein bin Talal in February 1999 (the predecessor of the King Abdullah II) left Jordan struggling for economic and social survival, as well as for regional peace. Unlike many of the states in the region, Jordan has no oil of its own. Its resources are limited to phosphates and agricultural produce. For this reason, tourism and foreign aid are most important.
But press freedom is limited by repressive laws. Journalists can be jailed if they criticise the king, head of states of foreign countries or religious symbols. For this reason, Freedom House, an organisation which investigates the level of press freedom in each country, says that the press in Jordan is not free.
Several newspapers are published in Jordan. Seven main daily newspapers can be found, including one published in English, the Jordan Times. It was founded in 1976. There are also 12 weekly newspapers, two of which are printed in English. All other newspapers are in the official Jordanian language, Arabic. Daily newspapers include the Ad-Dustour, Al-Arab Al-Yawm, Al-Diyar, Al-Ghad, Al-Anbat and the Al-Ra’i’.
The content of these newspapers differs greatly. Some of the newspapers come off as outspoken and independent (seeming to decide themselves what will be published), such as the Al-Ghad, Al-Arab Al-Yawm and the Jordan Times. Some seem more pro-government, such as Al-Ra’i. The Al-Hadath is a weekly paper with content mainly about politics.
The main Jordanian news agency is Petra. It is a government-owned agency, the largest in the country. Petra was founded in 1969 as an independent agency linked to the Jordanian Ministry of Information. Petra is a member of the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA). FANA has 19 member states, of which Jordan is one.
The Jordan Press Foundation publishes Al Rai, an Arabic daily newspaper, and The Jordan Times as well as some English daily newspapers. In addition, The Jordan Press Foundation produces other products as part of their commercial printing business.
JRTV, or Jordan Radio and Television, is a combination of Jordan Radio and Jordan Television. It started as a black-and-white channel in 1968. It expanded to become the largest government-owned television station. Jordan TV presently runs four different channels:
Jordan Media City - launched in 2001, this was the first private media city in the region.
ATV, or Jordanian United TV Broadcasting Company PLC - a privately-owned company which started in 2007. It was the first independent television company in Jordan (which means they decide themselves what will be published).
There are more than 25 radio stations on the air in Jordan. They range from university broadcasts to No. 1 hit music stations. All offer websites on which they also broadcast. Again, the main government station is JRTV, or Jordan Radio and Television station. The FM stations are not all in Arabic. Some broadcast in English or French.
One notable radio station is AmmanNet radio. It was launched in 2000 as an Internet radio station. Founded by journalist Daoud Kuttab, AmmanNet radio covers current news affairs and analyses press issues. Cultural events, entertainment and sports shows are also presented. The fact that AmmanNet is web-based has brought it a wide audience of Jordanians in the country and abroad.
Around 457.000 Jordanians, or 16 percent of the people, have access to the Internet. Sources offer different opinions as to if the government is censoring the Internet or not. Reporters Without Borders states that the government censors the Internet as it does with the written press. The International Press Institute however states that newspapers have more freedom to publish content online then in print.
- Jordan Watch - Batir Wardam writes about a Jordanian striving for a modern, democratic and stable Jordan
- 7 Iber Dot Com - Articles and pictures about politics, events, arts and culture of Jordan
- Jordan, Enjoying My Space - Omar Fahd writes about modern life and aspects and politics within Jordan
- The Black Iris of Jordan - Covers politics, society and other Jordanian and Arab-related issues
Mobile phone usage is on the rise in Jordan. At the end of 2007, there were 4.7 million subscriptions to a mobile phone. Since the population of Jordan is nearly 6 million people, this means that around 85 percent of the population has access to or owns a mobile phone.
Learning and support
There are two universities in Jordan that offer journalism training:
The Jordan Press Association brings together about 700 journalists working in the media institutions and accredited news agencies. Workers at Jordan Radio and TV Corporation recently joined the association.
There is also the International Catholic Union of Press in Jordan, which provides news about the church and interfaith dialogue in Jordan.
- Addiyar Journal
- Jordan Times
- Jordan Radio and TV
- Jordan Media City
- Jordan Watch
- 7 Iber Dot Com
- Jordan, Enjoying My Space
- Jordan Issues
- The Black Iris of Jordan
- The Jordanian Press Association
- German-Jordanian University
- Jordan Press Foundation
P.O. Box 6845
Tel.: +962 560 97 00
Fax : + 962 568 24 78
Jordan media city
P.O Box 960798
Tel.: +962 655 027 00
Fax : +962 655 02710
University Of Petra
P.O. Box 961343,
Tel.: +962 657 155 46
+962 571 55 49